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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 9, September 2011, Posted On: 8/23/2011

Georgia Gov., FL Take Aim At Sweepstakes Videogames

Marcus Webb
sweepstakes video games, Internet cafes, Nathan Deal, Sam Olens, gambling machines

ATLANTA -- Gov. Nathan Deal, Attorney General Sam Olens, Georgia Bureau of Investigation director Vernon Keenan and the speaker of the House were among the political and law enforcement leaders held a joint press conference on Aug. 16 to announce a statewide crackdown on sweepstakes videogames.

Deal said up to 100 Internet cafés in Georgia already offer this form of entertainment, which he termed illegal gambling, and that the market is growing fast. According to the Associated Press, Deal also admitted that sweeps viddies "hurt our [state] lottery proceeds."

In related news, police and prosecutors in Florida and Virginia scored additional victories against sweepstakes videogames.

In Orlando, sheriffs raided a sweepstakes venue on Aug. 15, arresting two people and charging them with 50 counts each of keeping an illegal gambling house and operating gambling devices.

Miami, police raided three Internet cafés on Aug. 16, seizing nine machines and arresting three people.

In Virginia Beach, a sweeps operator entered a guilty plea on Aug. 17 to charges of running an illegal gambling operation. The charges stemmed from a September 2010 raid on 11 different sweeps games establishments.

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